I was supposed to travel with my friend in Southeast Asia for 2 months, starting in Vietnam. We were going to land in Ho Chi Minh City together and from there travel up north to Sapa. We were both incredibly excited about this trip and were talking about it for probably 2 months before we were leaving. I had almost everything figured out, I had a plan! Which rarely occurs since I tend to travel solo, but was glad to have company this time.
Until I didn’t. My friend ditched me 2 days in advance to go meet a girl he had fallen in love with. He just said that he was sorry and that he had to cancel the entire trip. I was shocked. My entire travel plan crashed and I felt depressed all of a sudden. Not because I was scared of traveling alone but because I didn’t mentally prepare myself for traveling solo again. It didn’t help either that the flight I took got delayed so I missed my connecting flight and found myself all of a sudden in another undesired situation. I felt crushed.
But all of a sudden I realized that this wasn’t the right attitude to have. Yes, things didn’t go as I had planned, but there were many other things to be glad for. I was finally leaving to Vietnam again, I had a chance to explore this beautiful country again, something many others dream about.
When things don’t go the way they should, it’s easy to feel sad, frustrated, angry, etc. You’re all of a sudden thinking about going home, because at least life at home is “easier” in some ways. But the thing is… nothing ever really goes the way you originally planned it to. There’ll be moments in your “real life” too when you’ll experience these frustrations. The feelings are just heightened when you’re traveling.
And perhaps that’s the beauty of it too. Traveling shouldn’t be predictable. It’s not just glitter and gold. It’s also a lesson, a challenge and something that will make you grow as a person. You’ll learn how to deal with missing flights, traveling solo and unexpected turns. You’ll learn how to solve problems yourself, learn how to deal with disappointment and you’ll most of all, learn who you are in certain situations.
When nothing seemed to go the way it was supposed to, I also felt like everything went the way it was supposed to. There’s things we can’t change, so why not just make the best out of the situation? What if things would’ve been so much worse if you’d be with that friend who ditched you? No one knows, but what we do know is that things usually happens for a reason. So just go with it.
After finally landing in Ho Chi Minh City, I found myself back in Bui Vien street again, the backpacker area. Something felt so familiar and invigorating that I couldn’t help but feel excited to be here, with or without a friend. I walked around in the busy city, where there’s thousands of honking motorcycles on the streets, where you’ll see plenty of young fashionistas walking around from store to store, and where you’ll taste some of the best food in Asia. I immediately went for a ‘Bánh mi’, a Vietnamese style baguette, and felt pleased. I sat down in one of many cafes in the city, I started planning my trip all over again and I felt it all of a sudden… That all is well.
If you’re also planning on going to Vietnam anytime soon, remember to apply for a Vietnam Visa before you arrive to the country. If you’re flying to one of the international airports in Vietnam, you can apply for a Visa on Arrival, which is by far the most popular way to acquire a visa. Not only will this save you time and money but you’ll get it quickly too. Depending on which country you are a citizen of, you may also apply for an E-Visa, which is also an online visa. You can also get a visa through the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate. Please note that the prices vary depending on which Embassy you go to.
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